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Author Topic: The Gifts I See in HIV...  (Read 7403 times)

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BeTheLove

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The Gifts I See in HIV...
« on: April 16, 2008, 06:56:31 PM »
The Gifts I See in HIV...

You get to become more resourceful than you have ever been before:   Think about it.  To live and even thrive with HIV you must become resourceful.  With all the uncertainty that comes with HIV you need to be willing to ride each wave out—and being resourceful supports you in doing that every time you catch another wave.

It takes strength, patience, and creativity to be resourceful.  You need to be willing to think outside of the box, open your mind and heart wider than it has ever been opened before.  When you become resourceful with HIV you have a lighthouse in the midst of your every challenge.  You create a team of people and professionals who support your health and sense of well-being. 

You get to become the Queen of personal boundaries:  For many, being diagnosed with HIV becomes the breaking point for weeding out negative behaviors and actions that were never serving you.  Certainly we would all like to believe that we would prefer to heal our lives by choice vs. trauma—but that isn’t always the case.  The trauma of HIV can be the point of no return—where one door closes and your true, self-loving, authentic and more-fearless-than-ever self steps up to the plate and says “Enough is enough!  I’m clearing my life of people, situations and circumstances that no longer honor my well-being and empowerment!”

You get to fall in love with YOU:  I’m not referring to some half-assed love affair here.  I’m talking about unconditional, unwavering, impenetrable love!  If you can love yourself with HIV you can love yourself under any and all circumstances.  You can love yourself when your partner leaves, when you didn’t do your best, when you make a mistake, when you fail a test, when you don’t look your best, etc.  HIV is the end all test for unconditional love.  To love yourself with HIV means choosing compassion over shame, connection over seclusion, forgiveness over guilt, gratitude over resentment and anger.  When you love yourself with HIV you truly know what it means to honor your humanity. 

You get to see life through a precious lens:  How many of you would agree that life becomes more precious with HIV?  Perhaps your child’s smile and gentle, curious gaze carries so much more magnitude than it ever had before your diagnosis.  Or maybe you find yourself thanking God each night for every moment you have with your partner.  Or is it the love you feel for others that suddenly feels stronger, brighter and more intense? 

You get to see how strong you really are:  Any one of you who don’t consider yourself a true warrior of sorts had better take a good look in the mirror and check yourself.  I have yet to meet an HIV positive woman who I didn’t deem a warrior.  You cannot meet the challenges of HIV without great emotional, mental, and physical strength.  Acknowledge yourself for that strength.  Many will never walk a path that takes them to recognizing how truly strong they can become.  You are on that path.

You get to reinvent yourself:   HIV can be an invitation to live the life you’ve always wanted to live.  For many, to test positive is to live through your worst fear.  Suddenly going after that new career, or skydiving look like a piece of cake on the fear scale.  One thing I truly believe is that HIV is an invitation to discover and honor the real you…the one that knows she is magnificent, the one that knows she is enough—more than enough, the one that knows she is worthy, loveable, beautiful, deserving, and bright. 

Sidebar:  I know there are two filters we can view an HIV diagnosis through.  I could view HIV positive women as victims or I could choose to view them as Victors.  I think you know the filter I choose.  I believe that I see HIV+ women for the truth of who they are: resourceful, strong, patient, loving, grateful, inventive, creative, beautiful warriors. 

Being dealt the HIV card in life is the biggest challenge any soul could be given.  I would also have to say however, that the opportunities that come with HIV can reap you magnificent rewards that the unaffected and or uninfected may never experience…Blessings, love and light to you all!











Offline TreDai

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2008, 07:06:00 PM »
That is BEAUTIFUL, I haven't thought of myself in that light!! Thank You for letting God use You ;)
"Our people die because of a lack of knowledge"
 Miss Ohio Plus America 2008

Offline Ann

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2008, 07:16:36 PM »
Hi BTL, welcome to the forums.

You might want to introduce yourself to us. How long have you been positive and how are you coping?

You might want to have a read through the Welcome Thread so you can know what else this website has to offer. There is also a Welcome thread at the top of the Women's forum that is special to this forum.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2008, 07:36:29 PM »
Welcome to the forums, I will say that much. But I have to say I disagree with you, I don't consider HIV giving me any gifts. I guess it is how you choose to look at it. I was resourceful before I became poz and don't think you need to be poz in order to be resourceful. I didn't nor do I need hiv to clear out people, I didn't need hiv to help me do that and honestly I am a Queen regardless of having hiv. I will admit that since having hiv, I do look at things a bit differently, I'll give you that one. And it has made me a stronger person albeit I was strong before hiv came in the picture other circumstances made me strong so I will not give hiv all the credit for that one.

I am not trying to rain on your parade but in my eyes HIV has caused me more problems than reasons for celebrating that I am poz. Just saying.....
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

BeTheLove

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2008, 08:09:08 PM »
Hello there Queen,

I don't believe that you have to be Poz in order to be resourceful.  I think that being poz encourages us to become more resourceful-than we've ever been-sink or swim,..you know what I mean?  I'm sorry that you do not see any gifts from your own experience with HIV.  Is it possible that just because you haven't seen them doesn't mean they aren't actually there?  Many of my gifts were standing right in front of me for years but I missed them, or ignored them because I didn't like the way they were wrapped or didn't like the person who handed them to me...nonetheless...they were still there. 

I love that you are a Queen and that you honor that, and I wish you many not-yet-seen gifts on your journey.

BeTheLove

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2008, 08:11:25 PM »
Thankyou for the light you shine TreDai!

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2008, 08:30:50 PM »
Hello there Queen,

I don't believe that you have to be Poz in order to be resourceful.  I think that being poz encourages us to become more resourceful-than we've ever been-sink or swim,..you know what I mean?  I'm sorry that you do not see any gifts from your own experience with HIV.  Is it possible that just because you haven't seen them doesn't mean they aren't actually there?  Many of my gifts were standing right in front of me for years but I missed them, or ignored them because I didn't like the way they were wrapped or didn't like the person who handed them to me...nonetheless...they were still there. 

I love that you are a Queen and that you honor that, and I wish you many not-yet-seen gifts on your journey.

Honestly, the struggle I go through on a daily basis has made me more resourceful. Trying to survive not due to being poz but other things has made me resourceful. I know you are new here and really don't know much about me. May I suggest reading some of my posts in the forums (Women's Dating Thread) or even clicking the link to my blog may help you to understand why I feel the way I do. Please don't take what I am saying as trying to slam you because it is not. We all have a right to feel the way we do, you know.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Snowangel

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2008, 09:01:28 PM »
Welcome, BTL!!!

I also agree with most everything you said.  I have always thought of it as the gift that keeps on giving, sometimes negatively and sometimes positively.

The only one that has been a problem for me is weeding out the negative people in my life.  Because of the stigma of HIV, I have found it hard not to just settle instead of going after and getting what I deserve. 

Having HIV and surviving domestic violence has definately helped me to face my fears.  Especially when I was working with all  men, I would say to myself these people can't even begin to do half what has been done already and that always seemed to prepare me.


You have a nice way of putting things into words, BTL.

Snow


Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline BT65

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2008, 09:43:31 PM »
Well, hmmmm....

Being resourceful.  I learned how to do that mostly when I worked as a stripper/hooker when I was 17.  There's lots to be learned from that, trust.

Personal boundaries.  Eventually I get negative things out of my life.  But, as someone once told me, everything I've let go of has had claw marks in it.

Falling in love with me.  Yes, I have masturbated a lot more since becoming poz.  How much more self love can one want.

Seeing life through a precious lense.  Well, I have a lot more compassion than what I used to.  I've seen lots of horror also.

How strong I really am.  I've found that out through the battles I've had with addiction and survived.

Reinvention of myself happens at different times.  I don't think life's anymore pressing than what it used to be.

I don't, nor have I ever thought myself a victim.  I chose to have unprotected sex, I got what I got.  I'm glad you have a good outlook.  That certainly can help.  Please join us in the dating thread.  It's not all about dating; it's about our daily lives, struggles and support of each other. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2008, 12:37:24 AM »
Glad you posted what you did, Betty. I didn't want her to think I was being bitchy. But I guess we all have our views on things and I will definitely say hers is most, uh, unique.



(who feels the urge to break out and sing...This Little Light of Mine) OMFG!!!!!
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline penguin

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2008, 03:44:11 AM »
is just a virus. catalyst for change, somtimes, maybe.

but mostlyjust a virus.

welcome, btw - kate

Offline Dragonette

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2008, 06:01:26 AM »
Hi Be & welcome to the forums

I dont agree with this post. I read it many times trying to understand why. Some of it maybe has a ring of truth, but I don't know why, maybe I am jaded. I think the main thing I disgree with is that in my experience and opinion HIV makes us even more vulnerable to the things that everyone is very vulnerable to and threatened by - breakup, loss, poverty, disappointment, rejection etc - in an already erratic and careless world (with some good people in it but who are also swimming or sinking). Of course, HIV itself without any added social or mental value is a deadly disease with complicated treatments, but I won't go into that b/c you are talking about the diagnosis more than the disease itself.

Please dont take it personal, it's nice to meet you nevertheless.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2008, 06:28:05 AM by Dragonette »
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline Veritee

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2008, 06:49:22 AM »
Hi  to BTL and All

I have only been diagnosed for 3 months so I do not know if I am qualified to judge if this horrible thing could be seen as any kind of a gift!!
But at the same time at 55 I have considerable life experience and have had many events in my life that were awful or terrible but made me stronger and helped me to find strength I did not know I had and from which I came through as a 'better' stronger person in many ways. - so perhaps I can offer my opinion?


I do understand – I think?? – BTL what you were trying to say i.e  that you mean well and that it does help to be positive and proactive about HIV

Of course it does help to have that attitude but I think we probably all know this here and being positive and proactive is what I have seen on this forum from all who use it – well  in the short time I have been here ;)

What my difficulty is – is as to why you feel you have to tell women on this forum this from the perspective it applies to us all and not that it is your personal way of dealing with your HIV???

We all will deal with this differently and all here  are all so obviously strong, resourceful and resilient women who are being as positive and proactive as they possibly can under the very dire circumstance of having HIV? I can understand if you had written this as what you see as the gifts of HIV for you - but wonder why you feel it may apply to others - it does not apply to me anyway.

I do understand you were passing on your insights and your learning for yourself however and value that you have done so.
___________________________________________________________
Anyway – my thoughts on the ‘Gift of HIV’!!!!

From my perspective and how it is for me (not anyone else)

In my opinion for me HIV will NEVER be a gift, or carry any gift!!

Any benefit I derive from it will be down to my own strengths, efforts and struggle, not HIV, and HIV for me will always remain a personal tragedy.

Yes of course, I plan to live as well as I possibly can with HIV, and as long as I possibly can with HIV. But because rightly or wrongly I feel my future may be uncertain and that I may not live as long as I planned or be as healthy as I would have expected................

.............I will do my utmost from now on to use my days and to be as good for myself and the people around me as I can, and enjoy as much of life as I can and not waste it.

Of course also having HIV and living with it I am sure will teach me more life lessons, but I have not exactly had an easy life up to now anyway ( as all of us on this forum have not either I guess) and all that you have mentioned I feel I have already learned  - I did not need HIV to come along and make the challenges I face all the harder.

I accept and understand that traumas in life can be a catalyst for change - but that change is not always for the better even if you turn it into a positive and use it well.

I have had many life experiences that have been a catalyst for change but I will tell you about the last one before HIV as an example...................

I had a severe horse riding accident in 2003, nearly died, was in a wheelchair unable to walk for over a year and then in horrible pain in my leg for a further 2 years until I had an operation to fuse my joint, which got rid of the pain but left me with mobility problems for the rest of my life.....................

Yes I learned much from all that, and it was a catalyst for change. Unfortunately not all changes were what I would have wanted or what I consider good

I am permanently disabled and would of course rather I was not and was fit and healthy and horse riding my own horses every day and doing al the other active things I used to do - I do not sit and pity myself but I would rather not have had this change.
Another of those changes was I could not work as a youth worker/lecturer for a some years and did not go back to it. So while it changed my life and I have done many positive things, I lost my professional status, affirmation of my skills and knowledge, my wages, respect for my skills that I was once offered as a professional and much more.

I did not go back because once I had the operation to get rid of the pain did not feel I could go back to it as I am out of touch and probably at my age, with a disability and having had a long break from work, with the current work situation in the UK, i.e where you are considered in many professions to be unemployable as a new employee if you are over 45 when you apply for the job..................I  would probably not get a job in my profession again anyway. I did try a couple of times but it was obvious I would not ever be considered.

And now I have found I have HIV, I do not think I will ever try again to go back to the job I loved

But still I have turned this into a positive, or rather used it positively

I have concentrated on running a charity I founded and made my life useful to myself and others and learned much form it.

But this does not mean that either my disability or my HIV was a gift.

If there was any choice about it I would much rather have not had that accident, not be ill for so long and not now be disabled and I would much rather be doing my job as either a lecturer or youth worker or both.

I would sacrifice the lessons/awareness/ the life changed and attitude changes I learned though this experience to go back to full mobility in a shot!!!!

And it is the same with HIV!!

I am not going to sit and wallow in self pity now I have HIV, nor am I going to waste my life and I am going to do something positive, even with this horrible situation,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I am already campaigning in my own small way for HIV awareness in the UK and awareness especially for heterosexual women with HIV....................

As here in Britain the level of ignorance about HIV in general is appalling, -  that women get it at all is not generally understood ( in the UK HIV and AIDs is only something that only happens to women outside the UK and then only to  mostly only black, Thai, south american, asian - those of other cultures - and not to white women - or even black/brown women - living in the UK - HIV/AIDs in the UK only happens to women, if it happens at all, if it is their fault or they live and/or were born, outside the UK )

It is just not accepted or understood that there are many women with HIV in the UK at all - or that most women with HIV are not immigrants from Africa, thailand, south america etc, intravenous drug users, prostitutes or promiscuous  - that  all women on the UK can potentially can get HIV as can all men and not just gay men - and that no one is to blame however they got it and it is an illness/ a horrible virus that uses any ‘host’ to reproduce itself -  and should not be stigmatised.

This is general in the UK - but much worse in rural areas where I live....

This is true for attitudes towards men with HIV but it is even worse in the UK for women with HIV!!!

There are many, many  women living in the UK in this position scared to tell anyone, due to this appalling attitude and assumptions about who gets HIV and the judgement that is made if you have HIV, are therefore lacking any support and I want to try to do something to change this.

As for victims - I will not play a victim, and I will be a victor with how I deal with this, I always have been and always will

 But actually you are wrong, i.e. that their are no victims, you do not have to behave as a victim but you can be a victim of this.

If you have HIV anyway you are a victim of this dreadful virus that does not respect anyone or any lifestyle, it just takes any opportunity, however small, to reproduce itself - I call that being a victim if it chooses to use my body to reproduce!!!!!!!

And you can get HIV if you have never knowingly taken any risks at all to get it - which at least in Britain – and everywhere - is often the case with many heterosexual women with HIV and children ! Actually I believe that whatever way we got it we are all victims of HIV, It is just that some got it as a victim too.

Sorry if this offends any woman who got HIV through i.e. drug use, or knowingly taking sexual risks. I am not stigmatising or judging any woman who has HIV from any source/circumstance. As I have said as a young woman I was promiscuous and took sexual risks and used some drugs. But I was very fortunate that I did so over 30 years ago when there was no HIV for me to acquire and every other STD was curable etc.

If I had been a bit younger or not changed my lifestyle and was no longer taking any sexual or other risks by the time HIV came along or had not got married many years ago - I could have had HIV though my risk taking and not my husbands

-   so what I say about being a victim is no judgement on anyone else - just a fact that we are victims, all of us, but  some got it as victims.

By acquiring it from my husband - the only person I have had sex with for over 20 years, I consider myself to be a victim of domestic abuse – I have forgiven him and we are getting on with our lives – but I do see it as a form of abuse and that I was the victim and not the perpetrator - yet he is a victim too. He says he got this from just one mistake, but even if he made many 'mistakes' he is the victim of ignorance -i.e not realising as a heterosexual man he was taking the risk he was - so he is my perpretrator but he is also a victim of HIV, just as we all are!"!!.

I feel we are all victims - But I do agree that we should not live as victims whatever the situation and I will not

But HIV for me is not a gift, nor will it bring gifts.

For me it is and always will be a terrible thing that I have HIV and for me particularly sad that I have to face this when at an age/time I thought I had faced all the ‘challenges’ that life would bring except for old age and death – and when I was looking forward to a peaceful retirement with my husband when he retired in 4 years time.

I would gladly swap HIV and any future learning and 'personal growth' I may gain from being HIV positive, for that peaceful retirement without HIV. But this can never be

This is how I feel - and while it is new for me I do not think I will change my mind about this being any kind of gift - but I am sure my understanding of this terrible thing and the issues involved will grow as time goes on?

This is just where I am now on it

Veritee XXX
« Last Edit: April 17, 2008, 07:52:40 AM by Veritee »
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline Veritee

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2008, 07:09:10 AM »
Sorry - my post above crossed with others because I had to think deeply about what I said  - I too read the original post several times Drag - and it took me some time to write

I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

BeTheLove

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2008, 10:44:20 AM »
Hi Veritee,

Thankyou for your thoughtful post.  I hope you and all the rest who have responded to this post understand that I deeply appreciate and applaud your views and personal stories with HIV.  In your post you wrote,

"What my difficulty is – is as to why you feel you have to tell women on this forum this from the perspective it applies to us all and not that it is your personal way of dealing with your HIV???"

That's a great question that got me thinking.  When I wrote the post I was considering my own experience, (thus the title-- The Gifts I see in HIV) and I was also thinking about the women I've know who are poz who have shared with me their similar insights on how HIV has been a greater avenue to the qualities I mention in this post.)  So, to take complete ownership here, let me say that these are the opportunities that I BELIEVE can come from being poz.  I in no way expect anyone to agree with this.  And quite frankly, I can see how many wouldn't-- I know I didn't have this take on things years ago.  For me, discovering the gifts--seeing HIV as an avenue instead of a roadblock has made all the difference in my ability to be proactive, create some inner peace, and experience joy again.

I hope that helps to clarify your question.  And thanks again to all of you who have shared on this post.  Your honesty ROCK!  And QUEEN...you crack me up! <wink>  This little light of mine...OMFG!  You're too much.

Offline Veritee

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2008, 11:24:20 AM »
Thank you BTL

I am only just coming to terms with HIV so I have a lot to say about it!!! And am exploring what I feel by writing


While I do find it hard to believe right now that I can see HIV as a gift in any way - I can see that for some it can be seen like this - but that this must only come if it does after much trauma/disstress etc.

Maybe it would help if I could see it this way at some point as it would be easier than the place I am right now .........

But I can not see that I ever will.

Maybe if I was younger? when I got/found I was HIV? I do not know ??? As then again I am so lucky to live to be in my 50s before something like HIV became an issue in my life. I feel sad when I read that others on here are so much younger than me or acquired HIV many years ago when young!! In this I have been lucky

But right now it can not be for me a gift . And I am not sure really I would ever want to see it this way.

All I know is that it has destroyed the life I had and the one I thought I would have - and wanted to have -  in the future in moving from middle to old age, peacefully and healthily

But I can see why you wrote this and how it can be like this for others.
it just is not at all like this for me right now and if it ever is I guess I have to come to this in my own way.

But I probably will not - acceptance is not my way.

I will probably just keep being angry with this horrible entity that is the HIV virus - that is - without my permission - using my body to survive and reproduce.

One thing I do know - I will never pass it on - my HIV virus is on a loser if it thinks I will ever let it infect anyone else ( I will not give it the opportunity to let it use anyone else's body)

My HIV virus dies with me and until that day I think I will always hate it and always fight it!!!

Sorry going off at a tangent!
Thank you for starting this thread BTL as it has given me things to think about and this thinking will move me on in the way I am going to approach and deal with HIV
« Last Edit: April 17, 2008, 11:42:30 AM by Veritee »
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2008, 11:39:37 AM »
"And QUEEN...you crack me up! <wink>  This little light of mine...OMFG!    You're too much."

Hehe...BTL, girl, I have jokes for days.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
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01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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tendai

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2008, 07:28:00 AM »
i dont really see HIV as a gift either really, its a cross i have to bear coz i have it and im stuck with it. maybe it could make me do things i wouldnt do or things that i'd postpone using the excuse "i'll do that later" considering that i might be too sick to do some things come the future

Offline BT65

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2008, 09:43:14 AM »
When, in 1989 I tested positive, I shared it with someone else in recovery (from drugs).  He replied, "well, it's just something else to deal with."
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline ubotts

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2008, 10:02:55 AM »
A gift from hell..

That's what I call it..

I was a junkie for 18 yrs..Got off all drugs and have been clean since 1991...
I call that a gift..

I stopped taking herion, coke, and prescribed pills.  It took me a year to get off the therapist's meds..

I was then clean for 11 yrs..No nothing....I did it myself and was damn proud..

But to be put back on pills for hiv, just blew my mind..

I was diagnosed in 1986, but put off taking hiv meds till 2002...I really didn't want to start
treatment, but my tcells were down to 27, so I had no choice..

After I got off all the drugs I was on for so long, That was my gift,,
To be clean and lead a normal life, and be productive in the community...

I beg to differ with your gift..but if that works for you, great..Go with it..

By the way, nice to meet you, and please tell us more about yourself.. :)
Live Love Laugh and dance like no ones watching.
Laughter is the best medicine, so try to have a laugh everyday..Even if your not feeling your best, think about something that was funny at one time in your life and work with it..   :o)

BeTheLove

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2008, 01:57:56 PM »
Hey Ubotts,

Thanks for sharing your response to this post.  In answer to your question regarding a little more about me, I'll start a new post, and would love for you to add a little more about you too!

BTL

Offline Breezy19635

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2008, 12:41:34 PM »
Hey there,
I gotta tell you that I was diagnosed in 2003, and because of that, I am able to do the job which I was blessed with. I would not have been in this field had I not tested poz. I had only been diagnosed for about 9 months when someone talked me into using my experience to help others not become infected and to get tested, so if they were poz they would be able to take care of themselves. I tested early, so was able to get into treatment at the right time. My t-cells dropped rapidly, from 1300 to 320 in a year and a half. I did HIV testing and prevention counseling at the local health department for 2 and a half years, then I decided that because I had a student loan in default and wanted to return to school, I would serve in AmeriCorps. They needed someone at my current job to set up and implement an HIV prevention and testing program. I did that. WELL!! Within 4 months of my service there, they asked me to stay on after my service to run the program. i am in recovery from drugs and alcohol for the past 5 years, I got clean just before I tested Poz. I never thought someone like me could be employed in the capacity I have been to date. So, if I hadn't tested poz, I wouldn't be going to school to be a social worker or working in the job that I love. So I can see the gifts of having HIV. I totally agree with all you have said. I also have weeded out the people in my life that are not good for me, and surround myself with people who are positive about themselves and life. I do newspaper articles and news on tv about the importance of testing for women who don't think they are at risk, like I didn't. Just wanted to give you a little background about why I feel the way I do about this. I have taken a negative experience and turned it into something positive. I believe we can all do that if we want to.
Thanks,
Breezy

BeTheLove

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2008, 02:31:23 PM »
That's a great story Breezy.  Thank you for sharing it. 

Offline netta

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2008, 06:17:26 PM »
I was annoyed when I read the title to this thread, but I must respond. I don't see Aids- Hiv as a gift at ALL, not THEN, not NOW, not EVER!!!!
"to thine own self be true"

BeTheLove

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2008, 05:44:27 PM »
More gifts?....
YES indeed!

Without my HIV I never would have met my partner.  We are both HIV positive, and I'm pretty damn certain our paths wouldn't have crossed without meeting on an HIV dating site.  He's been one of my finest life teachers, and I consider him to be the love of my life.  Even if I could trade him in for being HIV negative I don't think I would.

I can think of many people who entered my life because I had HIV.  People who probably wouldn't be in my experience otherwise.  I wouldn't want to trade them in either.

Netta, if nothing else...aren't the truly beautiful people and connections you've made on this site just one of the gifts that came from having HIV?



Offline BT65

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2008, 08:28:33 PM »
I'm not trying to answer for Netta.  But yes, the women here are incredible.  I hope one day we can all meet up somewhere.

It's just unfortunate we had to "meet" under these circumstances.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline 27years

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2008, 04:40:04 PM »
If HIV is a gift I would happily return it to the sender unopened, to those of you who got this unique gift and loved it, well enjoy, to some of us who are still trying to find out what to make of this unwanted gift lets keep smiliing maybe later we will have a good sense of appreciation and see more of the gift than the outer package.  To me its a gift from hell wrapped in a colourfull paper

 
Nobody dies a virgin life screws us all up

Offline MplsLady76

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2008, 02:50:41 PM »
Hi,

I see where you are trying to go with your comments. You are looking for the positive spin on this horrible infection.

Would I consider this is a gift, NO. My reasons are this

1) I had been verbally and physically abuse because of my status
2) I lost my family because of my status. They see me as dead
3) I feel sometimes I will never find the special person to share my life with
4) I would never wish this on anyone because I live with fear, depression, and lonelyness.

I pray people to see this as a curse or a gift. This is life. What we do and how we think will create our own individual outcomes. For me, I fight. I fight to prevent others from obtaining HIV. I fight our government to provide us our rights. I educate people on HIV. I show myself that I can live normally and maybe that will influence others.

I do admit that since I was diagnois, I am stronger. I do see who my real friends are. Unfortunetly being a women with HIV is worse. Even though all the research shows we can easily get HIV, it is harder for us to transmit it through sex. The fear of having kids, the fear of being hurt again or killed, the fear of emptiness.

I appreciate your opionon and I respect it.

Thank you for sharing

 :)
**We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with a pure mind, and Happiness will follow you, as your shadow, unshakable.**

Offline Winiroo

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2008, 03:38:11 PM »
HIV has changed my life that is for sure. I'm a stronger person now but I don't know if I would have eventually been this strong had I not been infected.

There are good things in my life that come from me being positive but the bad and scarring experiences greatly exceed the good.

Offline Losta

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Re: The Gifts I See in HIV...
« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2008, 12:01:07 AM »
BTL.....Thanks for such a  wonderful essay!! I do see the positive instead of the negative and it's nice and refreshing to actually read it from someone that have the same point of views as one do!!!

Love reading your post!!! :)

 


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